It was late Thursday afternoon, the final session of the fourth and last day of a national conference on child neglect and child physical and sexual abuse. Sixty-two participants dutifully filed in and took their seats. Some looked exhausted, some exhilarated. As a presenter, I weighed my options. Do I discuss the findings of a study I conducted on vicarious resilience and self-care, and risk folks glazing over and mentally, if not physically, checking out? Do I talk about dimensions of vicarious resilience? Nope. I elected instead to say the following: “Glad to see you all here. Sometimes folks ask me, ‘Are your findings and recommendations empirically based? Grounded in science?’ Yes, they are published in journals, and empirically based. But you didn’t come here for that. You came to reflect on the work you do, and to leave here today with the tools and resources you can use to sustain you as you continue to do the work that you love but also demands much from you. That’s what we’re going to talk about. Okay?” Audience members nodded, looking more than a little relieved. About 20 minutes in, I began discussing self-awareness and self-care and went off-script about things… Read full this story
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